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Match Previews - 2023 USL League One Playoffs Quarterfinals

By Staff, 10/20/23, 2:30PM EDT


Pair of intriguing matchups kick off 2023 USL League One Playoffs

Jacks seek second all-time postseason victory in matchup with League One juggernaut

Matchup: No. 4 Charlotte Independence vs. No. 5 Greenville Triumph SC
Venue: American Legion Memorial Stadium; Charlotte, N.C.
Kickoff: Friday, Oct. 20; 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: Partly cloudy, 60°
Broadcast: ESPN+
Hashtag: #CLTvGVL | #USLPlayoffs
Series (First Meeting): 4-2-0, GVL (2022)

  • A triumphant trend: Greenville Triumph SC - the league's winningest club - is the only club in league history to play postseason soccer in all five seasons of League One's existence. John Harkes' side will aim to become the first fifth seed to earn a postseason victory and eventually become the first club to win the league twice.
  • Tar Heel history: The Charlotte Independence have now qualified for the postseason in six of its nine seasons. That figure places the Jacks alongside the Carolina Lightnin' (ASL), Charlotte Eagles (USISL/USL), North Carolina Courage (NWSL) and Carolina Dynamo (USISL/USL) as one of the most efficient postseason clubs in the history of professional soccer in North Carolina.
  • Leaning on the vets: In the all-time series between Charlotte and Greenville, only Leo Castro, Dane Kelly and Aaron Walker have scored multiple goals. One - or more - of the aforementioned veterans will need to step up on Friday night in order to see their side into the Semifinals.
  • GK - Austin Pack (CLT): Pack's new league record of 116 saves in a single season - 30 more than second-placed Jared Mazzola's 86 - will be put to the test as he is tasked with containing the likes of Leo Castro, Lyam MacKinnon and Jacob Labovitz.
  • CLT: D - Clay Dimick (out, injury)
  • GVL: M - Tevin Shaw (out, injury), M - Aaron Walker (probable, injury)

Hailstorm hope to hold 'Mingos scoreless for fourth time in '23

Matchup: No. 3 Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC vs. No. 6 Forward Madison FC
Venue: Future Legends Complex; Windsor, Colo.
Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 21; 9 p.m. ET
Weather: Mostly clear, 64°
Broadcast: ESPN+
Hashtag: #NCOvMAD | #USLPlayoffs
Series (First Meeting): 2-2-2 (2022)

  • Historic Hailstorm: Powered by Golden Boot winner Trevor Amann, Golden Playmaker Arthur Rogers and Golden Glove runner-up Lalo Degaldo, Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC enjoyed a spectacular sophomore season. Just narrowly missing out on a first-round bye, the Hailstorm will extend its 2023 unbeaten streak against Madison and hold them to a fourth consecutive scoreless match.
  • Upset-minded 'Mingos: For the first time since its inaugural 2019 campaign, Forward Madison FC is finally back in the postseason. Last time out, the 'Mingos were held scoreless in a defeat to eventual champions North Texas SC. Now, they'll look to become the first fifth or sixth seed to earn a postseason victory.
  • Race to the finish: The 'Mingos picked up just one win in their last eleven matches. Alternatively, the Hailstorm finished their second season with eight wins across that same span. 
  • F - Trevor Amann (NCO): The MVP frontrunner and Golden Boot winner will get his first taste of postseason soccer on Saturday in Windsor. The 25-year-old will look to add to his record-breaking total of 24 goals across all competitions this season as he faces Madison - a team Amann scored three times against in the regular season.
  • NCO: None reported
  • MAD: M - Julio Benitez (out, injury)

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